The good times are back for the senior side at East Lothian IBC after they turned in a sparkling performance to capture the Scottish Senior League Cup title at the 70-49 expense of Coatbridge in the final played at West of Scotland IBC in Glasgow last Saturday.
The last of East Lothian’s five previous title wins in the high prestigious event came in 2012 so a record extending sixth time was overdue and delivered in fine style with big wins on three of the four rinks against a competent Coatbridge side. The winning skips were Peter Laidlaw, Willie Wood MBE, and Tom Young while there was narrow defeat for Jock Brodie. “We made a dream start all over the carpet to lead by 27 shots after 10 ends played and it gave us the type of confidence boost that is very helpful when contesting a final”, commented senior team convenor John Hamilton. Laidlaw delivered the highest winning contribution as he skipped Lessel Middler, John Hamilton and Alastair Russell into a 13-2 lead after five ends then went on to win 28-14 against John McLaren. Fit again Wood didn’t quite turn in a sweepstake winning performance but came mighty close as he skipped Brian Bisset, Ross Maguire and Billy Higgins to a splendid 20-8 win against Willie Harkness. Young passed a late fitness test and should no side effects as he skipped Dave McLeod, Peter Fallen and B.J.Smith to a harder fought 15-12 success against Jackie Grant. Brodie and his front three of Jim Neilson, Jim McLeod and Ronnie Douglas were always against the collar in a 14-7 defeat to Robert Provan. There was to be a double national title celebration for East Lothian IBC last weekend when youngsters Megan Kivlin and Lewis Betts brought home the SYIBA Pairs title for a first time following victory over Inverclyde in the final at Stirling IBC last Sunday. In the triples action the garden county trio of Aaron Betts, Dean Riva and Craig Mackintosh lost out by an agonising one point in their qualifying section.
On the World Bowls Tour arena six times World Indoor Singles champion Alex Marshall MBE put up a fantastic defence of his International Open title after he made it through to last Friday evening’s final at Blackpool Newton Hall Holiday Park before losing out to England’s Nick Brett in straight sets (4-12, 8-9).
On the international stage East Lothian IBC star Emma Brown was last weekend part of a Scotland Ladies side that failed in their bid to halt England’s run of six title wins in the British Isles Home International series played at Stanley IBC in County Durham. Scotland managed two wins in the series but had to settle for runners-up spot behind winners England, third placed Wales and ahead of foot of the table Ireland. Once again Emma acquitted herself very well playing lead in the rink skipped by world stage star Julie Forrest and they boasted a 100% record in the series. It’s the turn of the men this weekend (Thursday to Saturday) with Willie Wood MBE, Scott Kennedy, Billy Mellors, Derek Oliver, Jamie Higgins and Graham Robertson making the trip to Stanley IBC to join their colleagues in the Scotland team.
A men’s side from East Lothian IBC progressed through to the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup following a hard fought 71-66 win over Division 1 challengers Ayr in last Saturday’s second round action at West of Scotland IBC. Wins on the rinks skipped by Derek Oliver (+9) and Billy Mellors (+6) plus a peel for Scott Kennedy carried the day for East Lothian although Ayr did inflict the pain of defeat on Jamie Higgins (-10). The draw for the quarter-finals has pitched East Lothian against another Division 1 outfit in the shape of Cumbernauld and the clash will be staged at Falkirk IBC on Saturday March 21.
Last Wednesday’s ongoing qualifying action in the Jock Brodie Senior Challenge Cup, sponsored by Norman T Craig and Co-operative Funeralcare, saw East Lothian B secure top spot in Section 2 following a 4-4 draw with Teviotdale who also progressed through to the knockout stages as runners-up. In the other clash played Perth defeated Berwickshire. The action continued on Wednesday with just one fixture being staged as Bainfield faced West Lothian. The club has confirmed the semi-finals will be staged on Wednesday April 1 at 11am with the grand final a week later.
A side from East Lothian IBC secured a place in the final of the Headwell Mixed Team Championship tournament after securing a 6-2 points victory over East Fife in last Sunday’s semi-final action. East Lothian will face either host club Headwell or Perth in the final on Sunday April 5.
The youth side rounded off their East of Scotland Junior League campaign in emphatic style last Saturday morning as they trounced Abbeyview 7-0 on points at Meadowmill stadium and finished the campaign in joint runners-up spot with Abbeyview behind newly crowned champions Midlothian. The youth side is Scottish Youth Top Ten quarter-final action on Sunday when they play Garioch at Dundee IBC.
On the domestic front at East Lothian IBC the playdown action for the inaugural Kiwi Trophy tournament takes place on Sunday from 10am. There will be 2 sections of four teams playing in a round robin with the winners of each section going through to the final that will be contested in the club finals week next month.
Bowling members of Cockenzie & Port Seton Bowling Club are reminded that their AGM will take place on Tuesday (March 17) at 7pm.
All outdoor club secretaries are reminded the AGM of the East Lothian Bowling Association takes places at Haddington BC on Wednesday (March 18) from 7pm. Two representatives from each affiliated club are formally requested to attend the meeting.